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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Tara Mines

I thank the Cathaoirleach and the Acting Leader. I want to talk about Tara Mines. I had two of my councillors in Navan, Councillor Alan Lawes and Councillor Francis Deane - we all had a text this morning from Councillor Paddy Meade - expressing concern over the loss of the 650 jobs. Tara Mines is a massive employer to County Meath. I am aware that when the incident happened in November 2021, a specialist crew was brought in from the UK to plug that hole, as such, where water was gushing out. I wonder if that issue has been resolved. Is that maybe the reason we are where we are today? At the time, the Government was very active with regard to getting that mine reopened, and that the cheque book was there to get it done. Is that an issue as to why it is closed today? I understand it was a foreign company in from the UK perhaps three to four months ago, and they were back in there trying to do some work there. I wonder what the real story is.

It is very unfortunate for the workers to be told yesterday. John Regan from SIPTU was on the radio this morning. They are going to be out of work, they say, for ten months and that it is temporary but is it really temporary? Now they must sign on and they will get some €200 per week. These are families with mortgages and €200 per week is not going to go very far. We need the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Humphreys, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Coveney, and Deputy English, who is on the ground in Navan as well. I believe an investigation is needed. This company made €235 million last year in profits. The workers must be treated right and I do not believe the company has done so, especially with how the workers were told about this.

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